While you may be tempted to put prospecting on hold during a crisis, that would be a mistake. Advisors who continue to prospect and engage in more empathic conversations with their prospects have a better chance of solving their problems than those who don’t.
Selling is solving peoples’ problems for a profit. The time is now to monetize your expertise and manage your visibility in the marketplace. Now more than ever, you are positioned to provide desperately needed solutions to your clients and prospects.
Here are a few insights to keep in mind as you work hard to keep your prospecting pipeline full–no matter the challenges you might be facing.
*Be honest with yourself. Are you getting in front of qualified prospects consistently and comfortably? Many salespeople want to hide and deny their call reluctance. Admitting that you experience emotional hesitation to proactively prospect is critical to overcoming the internal struggle you have with initiating contact with prospects. Remember that admission usually leads to a solution.
*How are you relating to the experience of prospecting? Our insecurities and self-protection strategies are rooted in a deep sense of incompleteness. We don’t feel we are quite capable yet. Listen to the questions you ask yourself which send you down the self-doubt spiral, such as: “What if I annoy them by calling them?” Get rid of that question and ask yourself instead: “What if I step into the mystery?”
There is always uncertainty when we prospect. Uncertainty fuels anxiety and anxiety leads to distress, which stimulates fear. Fear then creates doubt, which wastes energy.
Instead of being uncertain, develop a curiosity mindset. You will quickly notice how much easier prospecting will become. This is because curiosity turns doubt into fuel for learning and discovering. It is the secret ingredient that makes prospecting an adventure.
*Take a minute to consider this fact: The majority of prospects need to be disrupted and challenged to wake up to their reality. They are not fully insured. They don’t have a plan in place. They have not started saving for their children’s college education. They are not thinking about their future. They don’t have long-term care insurance. To put it bluntly: We all need to wake up!
Consider yourself the Chief Disruptor who causes them to get honest about their current reality and articulate their desired result. Strategic and thoughtful questions help prospects confront their reality. How comfortable can you get in your role as Chief Disruptor?
*Fear is possible only when you don’t feel connected to your sense of worth. What is the value you provide to your prospects? Do you know with every fiber of your body that you have value? What is your worth? What do you contribute?
*Refer to your prospecting time as “appointment setting time.” Focus on the outcome you want. Prospecting is not a sales conversation; instead, it is discovering whether the prospect has personal attention and focus on what you provide and if she is open to meeting with you.
*Without an emotional connection to the why behind what you are doing, consistent prospecting is not sustainable. Create and maintain a compelling vision for your future. Without a compelling vision, you will discover that there is no reason to push yourself out of your current reality. Vision creates ownership. Creating a vision is a process of cultivation and actualization of the behavior and characteristics that lead you to courage, knowledge, inspiration, energy, endurance, fearlessness, and persistence. A vision symbolizes a higher reality and evidence of the possibility of gaining a higher level of achievement.
*Be prepared when a prospect tells you she already has an advisor. Have a question ready that interrupts her reflexive pattern, such as:
“I understand. If your current advisor could do one thing better, what would it be?”
If she tells you that she is not interested, you can respond by saying: “I see. When was the last time you reviewed your financial plan to see if changes need to be made?” The idea is to become comfortable with using these reflexive pattern interruptions.
*Experience prospecting as a mystery and step into the mystery with enthusiasm and courage!
*Whenever you are prospecting, say to yourself: “This is not about me.” What do you notice when you say this?
*Before you prospect, center yourself. Many advisors believe that the purpose of their bodies is to carry their heads around. Prospecting is a whole-body experience. Centering helps you stay calm and grounded and become more present and coherent.
To center yourself, stand up, take a deep breath and put a smile on your face. Then, say to yourself: “I have legs and feet. I have arms and hands. I have a head and a neck.” Get fully conscious in your body–you cannot think your way out of your Call Reluctance.
*Make sure you have a process for conducting the sales conversation by addressing the following questions:
1) What is your prospect’s desired result?
2) What has prevented her from achieving this result?
3) What is at stake if nothing changes? (This is a question that is a Disruptor. It creates tension!)
4) What is your prospect’s sense of urgency?
5) What is the next step? My clients report ecstatically the positive results they achieve when they follow this organic and unfolding process. Take the complimentary Prospecting EKG to measure your call reluctance.
Connie Kadansky, MCC, Sales Call Reluctance coach, helps salespeople get their ASK in gear.
She has spoken at MDRT’s Global Meeting and at NAIFA’s Performance +Purpose Conference.